(Emailed July 11, 2008)

Dear Senator McCain:

     From the news I see you visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico and were shown her image, something Iíve a particular interest in and have written about. I have a large copy of her image in a frame in my home. Her feast day is Dec. 12th, and itís interesting to me that the election of 2000 was settled on that day.

     I saw the picture of the Monsignor discussing details of the image with you, your wife Cindy and Sen. Lieberman. While not identified, Iíd guess that Jeb Bush was also pictured. Senator, I appreciated your attentive demeanor before the image and thank you for the roses you brought. I was glad you received a blessing and was pleased to read that your wife bowed her head with her eyes closed while you received it. If that was the original image you were looking at, that was quite a privilege. Perhaps this was a special moment of grace for you, where the mother of Jesus wished to convey her sentiments on life and love to your heart.

     I donít know what the Monsignor told you as to detail, but Iíd like to share something about it in case he may not have covered this point. The dark tie beneath her hands afold, has a special meaning. I was told in Mexico it signifies, ďElla esta encinta.Ē(In English, ďSheís with child.Ē) Of course the child sheís bearing is Jesus.

     In contemplating that, it should signify to a Christian that Jesus was once Our embryonic Savior and the fetal Son of God. This was the way He came into the world. In the Blessed Virginís womb, He never was not God. He was a Being both God and human.

     You can easily read into the image the making of a human being united to God. There is dignity there. This says something about how we are made. While humans cooperate, lawfully or not, we are made by God and at conception our souls are knit with a destiny yon.

     It has relevance to help clarify the confusion that surrounds not only abortion, but embryonic stem cell research today, where some have been misled into believing itís permissible. This may be partly the fault of some misinformation put out that conception begins at implantation, and not at the very beginning of life. Once a child is conceived, the womb becomes his or her own sovereign space, a kind of enclave not to be aggressed upon from without. For the woman, the embryo is not part of her, but a being apart from her.

     Many may not realize the equivalency of embryonic stem cell research to abortion: this research destroys a human life already started, no matter how tiny or undeveloped, and in effect, it cannibalizes its cells for others. We cannot destroy one person to help another.

     Science tells us that the reproductive cells contain 23 chromosomes, half the ordinary complement of 46 found in the other cells of the body. At conception the reproductive cells join together, and when this single cell divides, it divides into cells of 46 chromosomes. The genes in the chromosomes are aligned in pairs, one from the mother and one from the father, a genetic arrangement differing from either parent. You have the commencement of another and a new life.

     God will not bless America for abortion or things akin to it. Iím afraid weíre vulnerable to chastisement, if it isnít already happening as a warning, through the economy and the weather, lesser ways than what could or may yet occur.

     The colonial leader George Mason said this on August 22nd, 1787, during the debates of the federal convention: "Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgment of Heaven on a country. As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes national sins by national calamities." I believe we must seriously consider this when thinking about the problems of today. Insofar as humans affect the course of events, God could and may let us to punish ourselves through our decisions and votes.

     If you win I will look to you as the captain of the ship, on the bridge to steer it through troubled waters. Being on a ship is something Iím a little familiar with, as I was a sailor aboard the USS Piedmont (AD-17) and also served at CinCPacFlt PIO. I was at Pearl Harbor when Adm. Arthur Radford was there and saw President Truman when he came through Hawaii, the time he met Gen. MacArthur at Wake Island.

     Our Lady of Guadalupe is called the Protectoress of the Unborn. May she guide and inspire you in your decisions. Whatever your point of view before, ask her to intercede with her Son to assist you with grace, to protect the unborn without exception and to actively support the prolife plank of your partyís platform, which represents a moral tone for our time, and in a way, stands like a beacon in the darkness.

     God bless and protect you and your wife.

                                                                                                Best wishes, John Riedell



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